This article is one in a series marking Work Experience Week, FairTrain’s annual campaign to celebrate and raise awareness about the benefits of work experience.
Here at Inspire!, we’ve built an extensive network of more than 1,400 employers who, through our brokerage service, have hosted an incredible 33,000 local students in the past 11 years. We spoke to some of our recent hosts to find out more about their experiences of offering work experience placements through Inspire!, and what work experience means to them.
“It gives our staff some experience of guiding and mentoring someone young,” communications agency Living Group told us. “It shows them it is not easy, but once you manage to engage them, it works really well.” They felt that hosting a student offered benefits to both parties. “It’s good to give back and hopefully help someone who is interested in a creative career of some sort and show what roles there are to offer.”
Creative consultancy Reluctantly Brave told us that hosting work experience gave their team a valuable opportunity to engage with a young audience: “It is good for our insight, inspiration and interaction with young people.” We were delighted to see them add that “it is fun to have them in.”
The Pleasance Theatre told us about the extra capacity afforded to them by hosting work experience. “The placements have allowed us to have the helpful support of students during our busy times and allowed us to get many research tasks done which otherwise probably wouldn’t have happened.” They also noted that it provided an opportunity to “spread the word” about their venue’s offer.
The Cake House, an independent bakery in Camden’s Kentish Town, appreciated having Inspire! staff on hand to support them throughout the process, telling us “communication from the team was very supportive”. They felt that hosting a student gave their whole workplace a lift: “Our team enjoyed working with the youth provided by your programme. Business atmosphere was uplifting, customers satisfied.”
As an education business partnership (EBP), we believe that brokering and supporting work experience placements provides a huge range of benefits for employers as well as young people (read our Director’s piece on the benefits for students here). The positive feedback we received from our network proves that our model works for employers: in our survey of businesses offering work experience placements through Inspire! in 2015/16, 81% rated our service as Good or Very Good.
If you’d like to find out how your company can get involved, or for more information, get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 020 7275 6078.